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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-04-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Director General of DG Enlargement in the European Commission, Michael Leigh, will pay a visit to Cyprus from 4-6 April.

    Leigh will meet with representatives of the government of Cyprus as well as representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community, including the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and civil society.

    Talks will focus on the aid package for the Turkish Cypriot community.


    Opposition Democratic Rally (DISY) leader Nicos Anastasiades, expressed his satisfaction for the results of the European Peoples Party (EPP) Congress in Rome earlier this week and the resolution on Cyprus that was unanimously approved.

    Speaking at a press conference, Anastasiades who headed a delegation at the EPP, said that on the sidelines of the congress he had held a series of contacts with heads of state and government leaders as well as political party leaders.


    The significance of combating terrorism and trafficking of persons was underlined during a gathering between Cypriot and American officials at the Alien and Immigration Department where members of the Police force received diplomas for attending a series of lectures at the US Embassy in Nicosia.

    Addressing the gathering, Deputy Police Chief Iacovos Papacostas said a total of 140 members of the Alien and Immigration Department, the Criminal Statistics Services and the Criminal Investigation Department participated in the programme that was held between 7 and 30 March, noting that they ``acquired invaluable knowledge and experience.``

    Consul Henri Hand said that through its actions, the government of Cyprus has showed how important the issue of combating illegal immigration and trafficking of persons is.


    The Chief of the Greek National Defence General Staff, Admiral Panayiotis Hinofotis, will pay an official visit to Cyprus from 9 to 11 April, at the invitation of Cyprus` Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Constantinos Bisbikas.

    An official statement said Hinofotis will be received by President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos and will also meet House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias and Minister of Defence Kyriacos Mavronicolas.


    Our main aim is the solution of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of Cyprus in a fair, viable and functional manner that will be to the interests of all as well as the stability, peace and economic growth of the region, stated Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyiannis.

    She made the statement while informing the members of the Greek Parliaments External Affairs and Defence Committee on the course of national issues.

    She said Greece continually wants to improve relations with Turkey on the basis of international law regulations and good neighbourhood principles, adding that in this spirit we support its (Turkeys) European course which is based on specific criteria and preconditions.


    Greece`s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyianni expressed the hope that cooperation between Cyprus and Greece will become even closer and more effective with her visit to the island.

    She was speaking at Larnaca Airport on her arrival for a three-day official visit. Welcoming her, Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou said this official visit ``has great practical significance and great symbolism.``

    ``We look forward to the cooperation we will have over the next two days with Mrs. Bakoyianni and we will exchange views on a series of issues,`` he added.

    Noting that she maintains close bonds with the island, Bakoyianni said Greece and Cyprus` fundamental aim is ``one and only, the final, viable and just solution to the Cyprus problem, a solution based on international law, international legality, relevant Security Council resolutions and the acquis communautaire, a solution which will benefit the people of Cyprus in its entirety, a solution of peace, stability and growth in the region.``

    She added that the solution of the Cyprus problem is a firm aim and the first priority of the Greek foreign policy, noting that today`s visit is part of the ``continued cooperation and coordination of the actions of both governments.``

    Bakoyianni said that the two governments` cooperation is ``excellent, continuous and long-lasting`` and that after President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos` meeting in Paris with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan ``there is a new dynamic which we must make use of`` and described the meeting as ``important``, noting that she realised this after her recent visit to the US.

    ``I look forward to another constructive and substantial round of talks,`` Bakoyianni said.

    Referring to the Annan Plan, she said it was rejected by the people of Cyprus. ``From the moment it was rejected, it became history. Whatever new initiative comes up, should be based on the acquis, the Security Council resolutions and the work which must take place in the meantime,`` she added.

    Furthermore, she reminded that with Cyprus` accession to the EU, there is now a new European reality.

    ``What is important is the will of the people of Cyprus which has been expressed, it wants a solution, a fair, political, viable solution within the framework of the EU and towards this direction we will work,`` Bakoyianni concluded.

    The Greek Minister was received by President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos.

    On Wednesday, Bakoyianni will meet Iacovou and will hold official talks, followed by statements to the press.

    She will also meet with House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias.

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